How to get things done when you are unmotivated

Posted by ritha pierre on

We are all very familiar with that feeling. That frustrating feeling that takes over when you have a deadline approaching but just can’t seem to find the drive to get started. If you have ever felt this way then you are not alone. There is no doubt that routine tasks can get boring over time. If you have a professional career, there are chances that there will be some level of repetition in what you do. How then can you break out of this lack of motivation and get back on the horse?

While this can be a nasty feeling, there are a few ways to get out of this state and find that drive to carry on. Most times, it really isn’t about interest as even the most passionate people would often get stuck in a rot and no matter how hard they try, they just wouldn’t be able to clear that hazy mind fog. For some, it could be a sudden desire to just lay around all day. For others, it could be staring at the computer screen but coming up blank for ideas and it could even be the famous writers block. Whatever the case may be and how fast the incoming deadline is, panicking does not help.

Here are a few effective steps to help you find your motivation and get back on track

Take a break

Perhaps the biggest culprit of a lack of motivation is the mental exhaustion that we face from being too immersed in our work. This could take a huge toll on us and provide the impression that you simply can’t take anymore. No matter how hard you work, it is important to take frequent breaks. Do something fun like watching a movie, some comedy clips or take a brief walk to refresh yourself and get things flowing again.

It is important to forget all about the task you are working on. Giving yourself this treat allows you to gain perspectives of what you need to do and even offers you new insights on the task. This way, you return to your workstation refreshed and re-energized.

Practice the 20 second rule

The 20 second rule suggests that instead of focusing on the project in its entirety, you get started with the precursor and the preparatory tasks that would only take 20 seconds. This helps to provide you with the mental head-start advantage letting you know that you already got a bit of it out of the way. Instead of trying to get it all done in one sitting, you could try by setting out the tools you need, communicating with team members or anything else that pertains to the project but doesn’t take up as much time. This will help you get rid of the decision fatigue and put your right on your way to completion.

Limit your use of social media

It’s easy to get stuck down the rabbit hole of funny memes and videos on social media. This not only desensitizes us to our surrounding but also gets us wasting a lot of waking hours mindlessly scrolling through pages. You’ll be surprised just how much you can get done when you limit the noise from the virtual world. So when you want to get started with work, try turning off your notifications.

Celebrate the small milestones

Divide your tasks into small sections and give yourself a small treat when each section is completed. This could be anything from a 5-minute nap, to a small piece of candy. Whatever it is, ensure that is doesn’t prove to be a bigger distraction itself.


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